Progressive Calendar 05.30.06
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 00:08:16 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     05.30.06

1. Superior hiking  5.30 10am Duluth MN
2. Picnic/All/Merc  5.30 6pm
3. mn911            5.30 7pm
4. Frontline/AIDS   5.30-31 8pm

5. Medicare D rally 5.31 10am
6. AmInd/tobacco    5.31 11:30am
7. Mortenson/CTV    5.31 5:30pm
8. Designer babies  5.31 7pm
9. 9/11 revisited/f 5.31 7pm

10. Jim Fuller    - The press helps the rich guys win again
11. Jim Fuller    - The press: Pimping for fun and profit
12. Taxpayers     - Don't shop Hennepin county
13. Ralph Nader   - Pawlenty should veto Twins deal
14. Ruth Conniff  - The Democrats' losing attitude
15. 911 Truth.org - Zogby Poll: 70M+ US adults for new 9/11 investigation
16. ed            - Two questions (poem)

--------1 of 16--------

From: GibbsJudy [at] aol.com
Subject: Superior hiking 5.30 10am Duluth MN

The Superior Hiking Trail seeks volunteers to hel build 40 miles of trail
through the city of Duluth. No experience is needed, all ages welcome.
Dress for the weather and bring a lunch and plenty of fluids. For more
information contact Judy at 728-9827 or gibbsjudy [at] aol.com

Tuesday, May 30, 10-3pm, meet at the junction of St. Louis River Road and
Skyline. We are working between Keene and Brewer Park.
Wednesday, May 31, 10-3pm, meet at the junction of St. Louis River Road and
Skyline. We are working between Keene and Brewer Park.
Thursday, June 1, 10-3 pm, meet at the junction of St. Louis River Road and
Skyline.
Friday, June 2, 10-3 pm. Meet at Beck's Road and 123rd Ave. W. to help in
seating a small bridge over a tributary to Sargent Creek. Also, install two
boardwalks above the new bridge. Also, put up signs to help mark the trail.


--------2 of 16--------

Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 16:27:36 -0500
From: Alliance for Sustainability <sean [at] allianceforsustainability.net>
Subject: Picnic/All/Merc 5.30 6pm

NEW LOCATION May 30th Alliance Picnic & Book Club now at Lake Harriet
picnic area to celebrate Mercury-Free MN win!

We are moving the location of our Alliance Picnic and Book Club, 6pm
Tuesday May 30th from Boom Island to the Lake Harriet picnic area so we
can celebrate with Mercury Free Minnesota the new mercury reduction bill.
Please bring a dish to share. At 7pm we will gather around a table for our
Sustainability Book Club Discussion on The Natural Step for Communities
(you can purchase this book from the Alliance.)

The Lake Harriet picnic area (called Beards Plaissance) is at the
intersection of Lake Harriet Parkway West and 45th Street West in
Minneapolis (parking in the lots is $.50 per hour) Mercury-Free Minnesota
Celebration Potluck

You are invited to a potluck celebration. Many Alliance members helped to
pass the mercury reduction bill this year. Please come and celebrate for a
few minutes or a few hours.

For several years, people have been calling on our state legislature and
our Governor to regulate mercury coming from coal plants in Minnesota
because we want our kids protected and our waters clean. Because of the
work you did through phoning, attending meetings, signing postcards,
writing letters to the editor, attending forums, working in coalitions,
writing legislation, researching issues. the Minnesota legislature has
passed into law a strong mercury reduction bill!

RSVP: Please bring an organic, vegan dish to share and let Erin Jordahl
Redlin know what it is. Drop Erin a note at ejredlin [at] cleanwater.org or
call the Alliance 612-331-1099


--------3 of 16--------

From: altera vista <alteravista [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: mn911 5.30 7pm

The MN911 group plans to meets this week on Tuesday, May 30, 7pm at
Cahoots, Snelling and Selby.  With us will be Nuzi Haneef
(nuzi.haneef [at] comcast.net), who has started a MN 911 meetup site.  She will
tell us about that.

We would also like to discuss ways to broaden the 911 perspective into the
bigger meaning of 9/11.  Why would the government do this, and facilitate
this, and what are and will be the consequences?  This would bring in peak
oil, environmental damage, resource wars, the undermining of the economy,
etc.  Perhaps we could begin discussion groups around some of these
issues, as some of our St. Paul people have been doing for the past year.


--------4 of 16--------

From: Richard L. Dechert <ldechert [at] webtv.net>
Subject: Frontline/AIDS 5.30-31 8pm

tpt-2 8-10pm 5.30-31; 2-4am 5.30-6.1

This week's special FRONTLINE series launches GLBT History Month on Twin
Cities Public Television, and has been a very long time in the making.
Over twenty years ago, we wanted to report on the new mysterious disease
that had just been named Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

In 1985 FRONTLINE hired a young graduate student as a researcher. Renata
Simone was studying philosophy at Harvard, but had also been a pre-med
student; so she was someone who could help explain to us this new
"retrovirus." Not only did she do that, she helped us through our first
film on AIDS, worked on NOVA's first program on the science of AIDS, and
quickly became the resident expert on the disease at WGBH where FRONTLINE
is headquartered.

In the late 80's and early 90's, Simone created "The AIDS Quarterly with
Peter Jennings" which documented the challenges and politics of the
disease. She kept on the story as executive producer of PBS's "The Health
Quarterly," and documented the first successful trials of what would
become the "triple cocktail" for both FRONTLINE and ABC's "Nightline."
When SARS suddenly appeared, Simone insisted on following AIDS researcher
David Ho to Hong Kong and Southern China, where she told the story of a
potentially deadly epidemic for FRONTLINE/World.

This week's extraordinary series is the result of all her years of
commitment to one of the most important stories of our time. This coming
week will be the 25th anniversary of the first diagnosed cases of HIV
infection. Simone started work on the development of the series five years
ago. It took years to gather the financial resources, but it was the trust
that she had gained with the leading scientists and public health
officials she had known for two decades that really made it possible.

The result is a series that was filmed in 19 countries, interviewed over
170 people around the world, and is distilled into a powerful four-hour
narrative that tells the lessons of history and their relevance for today.

"People think AIDS is over," says Simone, the series' producer and
reporter. "Today, the media spotlight only touches AIDS for brief, often
confusing moments. With this series, we've taken the opportunity of the
25th anniversary to remind the broadest possible general audience that
AIDS is not over: HIV/AIDS is one of the greatest scientific challenges of
all time and this ongoing human tragedy is, and always was, preventable."

I hope you will join us for this two-part series onTuesday and Wednesday
nights. I can promise you an enthralling tale--full of human drama,
mystery, scientific breakthroughs, and the extraordinary story of a
virus--a retrovirus--that passed from a chimpanzee to one human being
sometime in the 1930's, and has since been transmitted, person to person,
to over 70 million people.

Afterward, visit our Web site where the entire series is available online
for viewing, and where maps, timelines and interviews with key scientists,
world leaders and health officials reveal the global impact of AIDS and
why the world has been unable to stop its spread.

David Fanning
Executive Producer

+ Producer Renata Simone will be online this Wednesday, May 31 at 11am
ET, to discuss "The Age of AIDS." See:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2006/05/24/DI2006052401794.html.

Note: In a special partnership with the National Cable &
Telecommunications Association and Cable Positive, the cable and
telecommunication industry's AIDS action organization, "The Age of AIDS"
will be available on-demand from most local cable systems for two weeks
immediately following the national PBS broadcast. Check their schedules.

To purchase a VHS or DVD copy of current or past FRONTLINE programs,
click on http://www.ShopPBS.com/.

FRONTLINE
125 Western Ave., Boston, MA 02134
http://www.pbs.org/frontline/

[Watching this show will give you visual aids. ;-) -ed]


--------5 of 16--------

Date: Fri, 26 May 2006 13:57:58 -0500
From: ereiam j.h. <sembl001 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Medicare D rally 5.31 10am

Please join us Wednesday to demonstrate your opposition to President
Bush's costly, confusing and corrupt Part D prescription drug disaster.
Part D is an inexcusable sell-out to big pharmaceutical and insurance
industries which denies citizens the choice of a simple benefit directly
from Medicare, and prohibits Medicare from negotiating for the lowest
possible drug prices for beneficiaries.

We're working with our partners at American's United to convene public
hearings across the country to fix Part D and deliver a prescription drug
plan that works first and foremost for the American people.

Please join us at a hearing near you. Event information is as follows:

Hearing to Fix Part D
For concerned citizens, Medicare experts, members of Congress/their staff
Wednesday, May 31, 10am
Senate Hearing Room 112, MN State Capitol, St. Paul, MN
PLEASE RSVP: <http://ga3.org/ct/CdwONW71BmWd/>

(For additional information, please contact Donald McFarland, (651)
308-8098, <mailto:donald834 [at] hotmail.com>donald834 [at] hotmail.com)

Your members of Congress and their staff have been invited to receive
testimony at this hearing from Medicare experts and concerned citizens --
especially those eligible for Part D. In addition, you are invited to
participate in an open discussion with experts on the issue to discuss the
problems with Part D and suggest ways to fix the embattled prescription
drug program.

We will also premier a short video produced by the national healthcare
consumers group Families USA and narrated by respected former CBS newsman
Walter Cronkite, entitled "The Problems with the Medicare Drug Program -
and How to Fix Them". We will then ask members of Congress to take a firm
position on our plan to fix to Part D.

We hope you'll join us.  <http://ga3.org/ct/CdwONW71BmWd/>Please RSVP for
this event here.
Roger Hickey, Co-Director Campaign for America's Future


--------6 of 16--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org>
Subject: AmInd/tobacco 5.31 11:30am

Wednesday, May 31 11:30am-1:30pm.  Ain Dah Yung Open House Luncheon and
Film, 1089 Portland Avenue, StPaul.

Join our annual celebration of American Indian Month, A short documentary
film called ³Be True to Yourself² will be shown; this 15-minute
documentary promotes the sacred use of tobacco and educates about the
harmful effects of commercial tobacco, Free and open to the public, FMI
call Susan (651) 227-4184.


--------7 of 16--------

From: Paul Busch <pobusch [at] msn.com>
Subject: Mortenson/CTV 5.31 5:30pm

Half hour interview of Jesse Mortenson, Green Party candidate for MN House
District 64A. Access to Democracy host Alan Miller discussed this very
visible race on February 24, 2006 with Mortenson.

These are the air times for Jesse on Access to Democracy on SPNN.

Wednesday 5/31/2006, 5:30 PM, Channel 15
Friday 6/2/2006,     9:30 PM, Channel 15
Saturday 6/3/2006,   2:30 PM, Channel 15
Monday 6/5/2006,    11:30 PM, Channel 15
Sunday 6/11/2006,    7:00 PM, Channel 15
Sunday 6/18/2006,    5:30 PM, Channel 15


--------8 of 16--------

From: Shanai Matteson <matt0423 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: Designer babies 5.31 7pm

Science on Screen
Who's Afraid of Designer Babies?
Wednesday, May 31, 7pm
Bell Museum Auditorium
$2 suggested donation

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or PGD allows scientists to screen the
genetic profile of embryos conceived through in vitro fertilization. What
is the potential of this technology and who should decide how to use it?
The documentary Who's Afraid of Designer Babies? chronicles the experience
of a couple in Sydney who decide to use this embryo-screening technology
to help save their 4-year-old son's life. Over the past two years, the
couple has spent $20,000 and produced 36 embryos in a quest to conceive a
baby whose bone marrow will match that of their ill son. The film raises
complex and emotional issues about our potential to "design" our
descendants.

Following the screening, Dr Carol Tauer of the University of Minnesota's
Center for Bioethics will lead a discussion of PGD and related
technologies.


--------9 of 16--------

From: ed
Subject: 9/11 revisited/film 5.31 7pm

One of the best and most recent exposes of government collusion and
coverup of the 9/11 Pearl Harbor/Reichstag Fire WTC building demolition.

Wednesday 5.31 7pm
Mim's Cafe/Lori's Coffee House
1435 Cleveland Av N (at Buford) StPaul
(West of the StPaul farm campus; 4 blocks S of Larpenteur)

Presented by MN911 group

And see item #15 below.


--------10 of 16--------

Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The press helps the rich guys win again
by Jim Fuller
www.jamesclayfuller.com (blog)

Oh how terribly we miss a free and honest American press.

A big story in Minnesota over the past several months, and periodically
for the last 10 years, is the saga of a push to build a new stadium for
the Minnesota Twins big league baseball organization, mostly at public
expense.

I've avoided getting involved in the controversy because, although it
exemplifies to some extent all the evils of a government run by and for
the very rich, it seemed minor compared with the horrors committed on a
daily basis by the people who run the United States government.

Also, I must confess, because it's a royal pain in the behind.

People have been screaming at each other, even threatening each other,
over a baseball stadium while most of those same people ignore the
deliberate destruction of our public educational system, the very physical
environment in which we live and the freedoms on which this country was
built.

Although I admire the people, one or two of them close friends of mine,
who fought against such long odds to prevent the inevitable victory of the
super rich guys - especially those fighters who also have had time to deal
with the bigger issues -- I had no stomach for that fight.

Suddenly and too late, I realize I was wrong to ignore it, if only because
what has happened could not have happened had the corporate press done the
job our national founders intended it to do. In fact, the Twin Cities
press made itself a perfect example of how and why the corporate news
media are helping to destroy American democracy. Many of us who stood on
the sidelines should have been out there handing out leaflets and making
telephone calls.

Almost daily, I send angry and/or frustrated notes to the people who run
the former newspaper that I formerly worked for, but until today, as I
write this, I rarely if ever blasted them for their shameful performance
on the stadium. (Actually three stadia, but that's another story.)

This past weekend, the Minnesota Legislature decided to allow the building
of a new Twins stadium. The bill it passed permits Hennepin County, in
which are located Minneapolis and its major suburbs, to impose a sales tax
to pay the majority of the cost of building the new profit center for
billionaire Carl Pohlad, Twins owner.

A state law adopted some years ago requires that a public referendum be
held to approve or disapprove such an arrangement. What the Legislature
actually did was to say the county could impose the tax without the
legally required public vote. Given that the county board already has
approved the deal, it is done.

Legislators from other parts of the state, Democrats as well as
Republicans, think that's a pretty good deal and climbed aboard. Their
constituents won't be paying, except for a few cents here and there paid
for minor purchases made during brief and infrequent visits to
Minneapolis.

A couple of Hennepin County Democrats joined the Republicans in the
sellout, and a few Republicans voted against it. It is a bipartisan
screwing of the public. Our right wing governor is all for it - but he's
always for a deal that feeds the rich at the expense of everybody else.

Both Twin Cities daily newspapers - The Star Tribune and, to a much lesser
extent, the St. Paul Pioneer Press - supported the deal to tax Hennepin
County residents to make Pohlad even richer. St. Paul is in Ramsey County,
by the way; it's citizens won't be paying the sales tax.

In truth, to say the Star Tribune supported the reeking deal is a gross
understatement.

The paper hammered and hammered, and relentlessly hammered the public with
propaganda on behalf of the stadium.

Absurd old columnist Sid Hartman pushed the deal in more than 100 columns
- though it must be admitted that anybody with any sense ignores his
opinions on everything. Sid is a silly old man who was a silly young man.
He always has truly believed that sports, notably professional sports, are
the only important human endeavors.

But the paper's other sports columnists regularly joined the chorus, as
did editorial writers and, with some frequency, general columnists. Only
one, Nick Coleman, dared to criticize the stadium package, and he reported
that he was the subject of a great many hate messages from the
sports-crazed - real hate messages. "News" coverage was slanted in favor
of building the stadium to a degree that would have embarrassed the likes
of Hearst and McCormick.

It's not so much that the writers told complete falsehoods. The pieces of
the story that got covered, and how the stories were played, and the
things that were not covered all figured into the mix. And headlines often
were written to favor the "build it" agenda. No one in the press ever -
not once - called into question the financial claims made by Pohlad and
his employees, although none of them has, to this day, seen the baseball
club's or Pohlad's books.

The epitome of the coverage came yesterday, May 22, when two columnists
went nuts over the stadium deal on the front page of the sports section.

One, Jim Souhan, who sometimes seems rational, did a foolish piece
thanking everyone involved in pushing the stadium deal over the desires of
the public that must pay for it. (Polls consistently have shown that the
residents of Hennepin County are against the deal by seven to three or
more.) Souhan gushed his thanks to four Twins executives for their efforts
- just as though they aren't making very, very nice money doing Pohlad's
work.

The other, Patrick Reusse, committed what I regard as an unforgivable sin
against journalism and the public.

First, a little background:

There are almost 296 million people living in the United States - and
that's just those who have been counted by the U.S. Census, so the actual
number undoubtedly is higher. Of that number, according to generally
accepted figures published by Forbes magazine, only 77 individuals have
more personal wealth than Carl Pohlad. Over the past five years or so, the
period since I started watching again, his net worth has grown at a rate
of about $100 million a year. He is the proud, if dour, possessor of
roughly $2.8 billion in personal assets.

Pohlad bought the Twins in 1984 for $36 million. The most conservative
estimate of the team's value this year, before the stadium deal was
approved, was about $216 million. That's what the club would sell for (at
minimum) should Pohlad have decided to sell. The stadium deal instantly
creases the value by an enormous sum, quite possibly double what it was it
was a few days ago.

Reusse's column was devoted to making it appear that poor old Carl had
barely scraped by through his years of Twins ownership and that he will
profit hardly at all from the new $522 million stadium.

The numbers almost certainly are phony, and the column little but a series
of lies.

The columnist rattled off a bunch of numbers and what we are to take as
facts.

He said Pohlad covered his baseball losses over the years with "a bank
loan." First, he offers no evidence of that. Secondly, Pohlad's wealth is
rooted in his ownership of numerous banks; one may assume that if he took
out any loans, the terms were - shall we say - favorable. And, third, he
could have covered any losses out of pocket had he chosen to do so.
Borrowing in such circumstances offers substantial tax benefits.

Reusse notes that the state legislation requires the Twins to pay
something to Hennepin County for 10 years once the stadium is open. The
amount is 18 percent of gross income the first year, but declines 1.8
percent every year until Hennepin no longer gets a dime. Reusse says that
under the new deal, poor Carl will have to pony up $130 million toward
building the new stadium, and if he sold the team right now for $400
million (a low estimate), he'd owe the county $72 million, so his profit
since purchasing the team would be only $18 million.

Well...In the first place, there is no reason in the world the ancient
billionaire would sell now. The deal with Hennepin County gives him every
cent of profit that is to be made from the stadium - from parking,
concessions, rentals, every damned thing the arena produces. In the second
place, in 10 years, when Pohlad probably will be in the ground, his heirs
will get nothing but gravy; no more payments to the county, the public, to
anybody. The Pohlads will control the stadium, lock, stock and turnstile.

But here's the first unforgivable sin: Reusse names no sources for his
supposed facts. He doesn't quote anybody about the bank loan, nor does he
say how he knows the Twins have lost money. The only possible source is
the Pohlad group. It is very wrong not to say that.

Sadly, that's the usual thing for local news outlets. The Pohlad bunch
says they have been losing money for years, and the news guys repeat the
statement as fact. By now, all of Minnesota accepts it as true, although
no one has any idea what the claimed losses total. Nor do they actually
know there have been losses.

Which gets us to the second unforgivable sin: Reusse and the others who
tell us periodically of Twins financial losses have never seen the Twins
or Pohlad books. Neither have the billionaire's allies or foes in the
Legislature or on the county board. No one who is not an insider has ever
seen the real numbers. Until someone gets to examine the books in detail,
in company with some genuinely neutral expert who understands what he
sees, the claims of losses or other financial hardships should never be
accepted as fact.

No reporter worth a week's salary would take and repeat as fact such
statements from a politician, a business, an artist. If you can't see and
verify the numbers, you must either refuse to use them or, at the very
least, state that they have not been verified and should be viewed with
skepticism. It's the rule if you're doing honest journalism.

To this I will add: For several years, a part of my job was to keep an eye
on Carl Pohlad and cover his bank operations and some of his other
enterprises. I found him and his employees to be untrustworthy to the
point that I would not take anything not obviously true - such as "we're
changing the name of the bank" - as fact until and unless I could verify
it through other sources.

The Twin Cities corporate media are not doing honest journalism.

James Clay Fuller worked as a journalist and editor for the Minneapolis
Staar tribune for 30 years. Nominated for the PUlitzer Prize in 1977 and
1992, he was known as Jim Fuller (but, found that name too common on the
web. Check out his blog www,jamesclayfuller.com


--------11 of 16--------

The press: Pimping for fun and profit
by Jim Fuller
Saturday, May 27, 2006

On Friday, May 26, the Star Tribune showed its present character as surely
as if it had hung a red lantern over the door at 425 Portland Ave. in
downtown Minneapolis.

The guy who declared "This is a whore house," didn't do it deliberately,
though. At least I don't think he did.

An article on the front page of the former newspaper's business section -
the tastefully decorated part of the operation that caters specifically to
a wealthy clientele, which prefers real information - told more than the
Strib has said in any previous story about what a new taxpayer-financed
stadium means for the public and Midas-wealthy Minnesota Twins owner Carl
Pohlad and his brood of arrogant richlings.

You can see the essay immediately below this one for background, but to
recap: A few days ago, the Minnesota Legislature passed a measure that
will result in the building of a $522 million (before the inevitable cost
overruns) stadium for the Twins. The residents of Hennepin County, which
contains Minneapolis and its inner rings of suburbs, will pay 75 percent
of the cost of the big playpen through a new sales tax.

Assuming Pohlad and/or his heirs hang onto the team for another 10 years,
they get all of the profits from the stadium - the huge increase in the
value of the team, the income from tickets, parking, food and drink (all
of which will more than double) and anything else that turns a buck. Even
if they sell several years before that deadline, they'll amass a warehouse
full of additional wealth, and we residents of Hennepin County will pay
the bills and get a very small payback -- far less than we pay.

The legislative action allowing this scam bypassed a state law that
requires a referendum on such transactions. So, although more than 70
percent of Hennepin County residents were against public financing of the
stadium, as shown by several polls, we were denied the opportunity to say
no.

A bought and paid for coalition of Democrats and Republicans came across
for Pohlad and his rich and powerful allies. (The Pohlad crowd passed
around more than $200,000 in campaign money to legislators and Gov. Tim
Pawlenty, over the past few years. It certainly is much more, but we'll
never see a number.)

Pawlenty had opposed a publicly-funded stadium during his days in the
Legislature, and he didn't fight very hard for the new plan for further
enriching Pohlad, the 78th richest man in America, but once the bill was
passed, he quickly planted kisses in an area of Pohlad's anatomy that most
of us wouldn't touch. By Friday, he'd declared he would sign the bill the
next day at a ballgame. Which he did, wearing a Twins shirt with his name
on the back, in a show that would have gagged a maggot.

Up to Friday, almost all Strib stories on the stadium ran on the front
page of the newspaper or the cover of the sports section, and sometimes
both. Those stories were short on facts, but full of puff for the project.
The editorial pages also pushed heavily for the deal, with a similar lack
of truth, obviously by order of the publisher and editor in chief.

The piece Friday that exposed the naked fraud was written by Mike Meyers,
a superb and gutty reporter - which makes him a great rarity on that
staff.

(There are a few other leftover good-to-excellent journalists at the
Strib, but they've mostly been pushed into niches where they can do little
harm to the bosses' agenda, and they're bailing out rapidly.)

Meyers' piece quoted experts on the size of the gift the Legislature gave
Pohlad: The value of the team goes from an estimated $216 million now to
somewhere between $400 and $450 million, and maybe higher, as soon as the
new stadium opens it doors.

It also said things that none of the puff pieces reported. For example,
Meyers noted in passing that in St. Louis, where a new Cardinals stadium
opened last month, the team is paying most of the cost of that structure.

He also reported, accurately, that the deal handed Pohlad gives him a
bunch of new ways to milk the Twins franchise - ways that were not given
to other ballclubs, even those in smaller markets, that also have new
playgrounds. And he spoke to the high probability of greatly increased
prices for everything associated with attending a ball game.

He came up with a number I don't recall seeing before: That all of the new
sources of money will increase the ballclub's income by $40 million a
year. That's more than a 25 percent jump - if the team has told the truth
about its income.

Meyers noted that Pohlad and his flunkies have long claimed to have lost
money operating the Twins in some years - but he used a word that any
honest and professional journalist would use, and which the Strib touts
never used. That word is "claim." Strib writers almost always, if not
always, stated the purported losses as fact, though the paper's touts have
not, to this day, seen any proof that there have been such losses.

And Meyers noted that experts disbelieve Twins claims of the size of any
losses. He also quoted such experts as saying that any losses that did
occur were considerably more than offset by the increase in value of the
team.

Then the good and honest reporter did something no other Strib writer has
dared to do: He cited the recent history of other baseball teams that got
new stadiums to show that the big jumps in income that usually follow the
construction of a new stadium are short lived, and that attendance tails
off quickly after the initial upward spike.

And he closed with a quotation from a man who has studied such situations,
noting that to keep attendance up, new stadium or not, an owner has to
field a good and attractive team.

Meyers didn't say, but I will, that Pohlad's pattern of team construction
has long been to do it on the cheap - very cheap. There is no reason to
expect that once we've greatly increased his already huge wealth he will
provide the area with a real major league baseball team.

What makes the Meyers article such an admission of pandering for the
newspaper is that his piece of first-rate journalism was held back until
the stadium was a done deal. It appeared when it was too late for anyone
to use it to twist the tails of gutless legislators or to rally the
anti-stadium faction. Holding the piece was a blatantly political act.

Meyers has been on staff all along, and though I have no proof of this, I
would bet heavily that he proposed the story long before the Legislature
voted. I have in the past witnessed scenes in which one boss or another
thwarted his efforts and the efforts of other excellent Strib reporters
(now mostly gone) to do honest reporting in a timely way.

I have no doubt whatever that the Meyers story was deliberately delayed so
that it could do no harm to the ambitions of Pohlad and other powerful
guys, including some of the top people at the Strib.

But here's the worst of it, folks:

The people who run the Star Tribune now, and the people who run most of
America's newspapers, see nothing wrong in what they have done. I have
heard them talk, I have read some of the things they've written and I know
that. To them, a newspaper is a business, and only a business, and it
seems natural and correct to them that they use its resources to further
their own interests and those of other members of the ruling class to
which they belong.

Oh, sure, they know they have to do some reporting, and some of them will
point to coverage of the Enron trial as an example of how they tell the
story even when it involves high rollers of the corporate world. But
that's sophistry. Enron was a story that could not be ignored, and the
guys who've been found guilty never really were members of the club anyway
- not like the people who were born to it.

No, the people who own are newspapers think it is the right and natural
order of things to line their pockets and boost their friends. The public,
you and I, don't come into it. We're a lesser breed.

Oh...Did Mike Meyers know his piece would show his employers for the
hypocrites and panderers they are? Maybe, but I know how he works, and I
can safely say it wasn't his goal. Like the solid, resourceful, honest
journalist he is, he was just trying to give the public information it
needed to deal with a situation in which it is involved.

Quaint idea, huh?

(People in the Twin Cities can get another perspective on the Twins
Stadium, with information that I haven't seen elsewhere, from a piece by
freelance journalist Lydia Howell in the May 24-30 issue of Pulse of the
Twin Cities, a free publication available in most commercial districts.)

posted by James @ 9:22 PM

Lydia Howell --
Printing a solid, professional piece of reporting on the new Twins
Stadium AFTER the legislature stuck Hennepin County with the stadium and
the bill, the Star Tribune inadvertently showed how far it went in pimping
for Twins owner Carl Pohlad and the power elite.Jim Fuller was a reporter
and editor for the Minneapolis Star tribune for 30 years. CHECK OUT Jim
Fuller's blog:  http://www.jamesclayfuller.com


--------12 of 16--------

From the Taxpayers' League newsletter:

The best stadium that the most regressive tax can buy.

Tonight at the Dome, as our Governor signs the Twins stadium bill in front
of a capacity crowd of 12,784, make a list for your family of all the
convenient shopping that lies just beyond Highway 280 in Ramsey County.
Myself (especially since the Taxpayers League has relocated to New
Brighton), I will be patronizing the Rosedale and the Har Mar malls.

Gone will be my late night trips to Santana Foods at the U or quick trips
to the Quarry off 35W to Target and Rainbow. For me, adjusting my shopping
won't be an inconvenience (and truthfully, 3 cents out of $20 isn't what
I'd call egregious). But that's not really the point. For many, the
increased costs ($2000 per family over the life of the bonds), will be a
problem that the Governor and most of the Hennepin County Commissioners
couldn't care less about.

[I suggest a total boycott of all major-league and big-college sports -
Twins, Vikings, Gophers - no games, no souveniers, no money, and bigtime
badmouthing. Tell/yell them to leave - get out - scram. Because as long as
they're here, they will suck more corporate welfare out of us by
corrupting government and the media. No community can afford these
blood-sucking ticks and ravenous tape-worms. -ed]


--------13 of 16--------

Ralph Nader
Pawlenty should veto Twins deal

Dear Gov. Pawlenty:

The Minnesota Twins stadium bill before you is an affront to taxpayers and
voters, and I urge you to veto the legislation.

Press coverage indicates that you will sign the bill into law prior to the
Twins game today. If you sign, not only will you force Hennepin County
taxpayers to pay $387 million in corporate welfare sales taxes to build
the stadium, but you will waive their right -- by state law -- to a local
referendum vote on any new sales tax.

Additionally, you will seal the Minnesota Vikings' expectations that the
voter referendum will be waived for the continuation of their own stadium
shakedown next year. How can you possibly defend such disenfranchisement
of local voters to enrich a commercial entertainment company?

Even if you are a supporter of the public subsidization of stadiums for
the benefit of private, monopoly entertainment, there is certainly no
justification, other than autocracy, to deny residents the right to vote
on having a tax levied upon them for such a purpose. But judging from past
pledges, you are not a supporter of taxpayer funded stadiums. According to
Citizens for a Stadium Tax Referendum, you pledged to specifically oppose
public funding for professional sports facilities. And according to the
Taxpayers League of Minnesota, you signed a Taxpayer Protection Pledge
promising to "oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes."

If you sign this bill, taxpayers will be on the hook for any rise in land
costs at the site designated for the new stadium. With reported
environmental concerns looming at the downtown site, you can be sure that
you would be sticking taxpayers with open-ended costs. Further, should the
Metrodome be demolished, the public would not even benefit from
appreciation in the old stadium site due to a provision -- as reported by
the St. Paul Pioneer Press -- "that would earmark most of the proceeds
from the sale of the Metrodome site to a Vikings stadium." This is the
giveaway that keeps on giving away.

Almost annually for a decade, the various legislative and voter
jurisdictions in your state (from which billionaire Twins owner Carl
Pohlad and his lobbyists have demanded a taxpayer handout) have
emphatically said "NO!" to taxpayer funding for a Twins stadium. Now, on
the brink of defeat for responsible government -- reportedly due, in part,
to "stadium fatigue" among legislators who just wanted the issue to be
done with -- lobbyists for the Twins continue to play the extortion card,
as they have for years, either by threatening to leave or claiming the
Twins would be contracted out of existence.

But the Twins have shown that they aren't going anywhere. How could they?
They wouldn't leave or be contracted out of the 15th-largest media market
in the country (according to Nielsen Media Research). The Minneapolis-St.
Paul market is larger than the Major League Baseball markets of Cleveland,
Miami, Denver, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, San Diego, Kansas City,
Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

The sports fans have done their part, and the taxpayers certainly have
more pressing needs for tax dollars than corporate entertainment -- namely
public necessities of the community.

Please veto the Twins stadium bill and tell Carl Pohlad that if he wants a
profitable new stadium, he should build it, like the capitalist he
purports to be, without taxpayer subsidies.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, author and former candidate for
president.


--------14 of 16--------

The Democrats' Losing Attitude
by Ruth Conniff
The Progressie Magazine/Madison,WI
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0523-29

Conservatives are considering sulking at home during the upcoming
midterms. Apparently, two rightwing appointments to the Supreme Court and
an evangelical crusader in the White House are apparently not enough.
Meanwhile, the Democrats are, for the first time, actually looking at a
fighting chance to take over Congress, according to a front page story in
Sunday's New York Times. A simultaneous rebuke to Bush from the right and
the left may break the Republican stranglehold on government this fall.
But dramatic political change is not necessarily at hand.

Even if the Democrats gain a majority in Congress in 2006, it won't be a
progressive majority. The party leadership continues to promote caution on
withdrawing from Iraq, criticizing the President, or taking a stand
against the aggressive and unconstitutional policies of this
administration. The conventional wisdom - that taking too clear a position
might get in the way of letting the Republicans hang themselves - is only
strengthened by the fact that the Dems' chances are looking better in the
polls now, even as they shy away from appearing to be too strong an
opposition.

If stalling is a viable strategy, why be surprised that some Democrats are
even promoting losing as a winning prospect? Really. Last week Tony Coelho
told Adam Nagourney that NOT gaining majorities in the House and Senate
might be better for Democrats, since then they won't be blamed for the
mess the country is in. "The most politically advantageous thing for the
Democrats is to pick up 11, 12 seats in the House and three or four seats
in the Senate but let the Republicans continue to be responsible for
government," Coelho, a former House Democratic whip, told the Times. "We
are heading into this period of tremendous deficit, plus all the scandals,
plus all the programs that have been cut. This way, they get blamed for
everything."

So when, exactly, can we expect a change of direction? When the
Republicans start governing responsibly, ending the deficit, reforming
government, restoring domestic services, and rolling back the Bush tax
cuts?

It will be a cold day in Hell before the Democrats judge it a safe time to
step up to the plate and take over.

And if they manage to stumble into power, what are the chances that the
Democrats will take bold steps to rescue the country from all the bad
policies this Administration has brought on us?

Not much, judging by the nervous attitude of the current leadership.

Howard Dean incurred the wrath of House and Senate leaders when he
declined to direct funds to the Congressional campaigns of the suddenly
viable Democratic contenders, who are counting on the
anyone-but-Bush-and-friends vote to get them into office. Instead, the DLC
chair insists on continuing to fund state-level party-building activities.
That sort of long term thinking is not particularly popular. But it might
help cure what ails the Democrats. By bringing some grassroots candidates
up through the ranks, it is possible that, in a few years, the party might
actually have some candidates willing to take a chance on leading the
country. Imagine.

Ruth Conniff is the political editor of The Progressive.
© 2006 The Progressive

Lydia Howell--
The only problem with this hope of "grassroots leaders" coming up thru the
ranks: the DLC does everything in its power to stop grassroots
progressive/peace candidates. I have heard rumors of a letter by Hillary
Clinton and Chuck Schumer to Minnesota campaign donors to not donate to
Ford Bell - but, to only give money to Amy Klobachar - the DLC preferred
candidate. Similar pressures from the DLC have allegedly been put on Patty
Wetterling to NOT run. There is still the occassional Democratic Party
candidate I'll vote for. But it seems like a failure of imagination - or
worse, capitulation, rather like an abused woman staying with her batterer
- to not look to third parties - especially the Green Party.  Losing to
the Green Party might be the only way for the Democratic Party to be
forced in a more progressive direction.LH)

[The Progressive is a liberal magazine that stays in the DP, it seems no
matter what. -ed]


--------15 of 16--------

[See item #9 above for an excellent 9/11 DVD show. -ed]

Zogby Poll: Over 70 Million American Adults Support New 9/11 Investigation
911 Truth.org via PR Web via Yahoo - May 22, 2006
http://news.yahoo.com/s/prweb/20060522/bs_prweb/prweb388743_4

Utica, NY (PRWEB) May 22, 2006 -- Although the Bush administration
continues to exploit September 11 to justify domestic spying,
unprecedented spending and a permanent state of war, a new Zogby poll
reveals that less than half of the American public trusts the official
9/11 story or believes the attacks were adequately investigated.

911Truth.org Urges 2006 Reform Candidates to Recognize a Powerful New
Constituency

The poll is the first scientific survey of Americans' belief in a 9/11
cover up or the need to investigate possible US government complicity, and
was commissioned to inform deliberations at the June 2~4 "9/11: Revealing
the Truth, Reclaiming Our Future" conference in Chicago. Poll results
indicate 42% believe there has indeed been a cover up (with 10% unsure)
and 45% think "Congress or an International Tribunal should re-investigate
the attacks, including whether any US government officials consciously
allowed or helped facilitate their success" (with 8% unsure). The poll of
American residents was conducted from Friday, May 12 through Tuesday, May
16, 2004. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of +/- 2.9. All
inquiries about questions, responses and demographics should be directed
to Zogby International.

According to Janice Matthews, executive director of 911truth.org, "To
those who have followed the mounting evidence for US government
involvement in 9/11, these results are both heartening and frankly quite
amazing, given the mainstream media's ongoing refusal to cover the most
critical questions of that day. Our August 2004 Zogby poll of New Yorkers
showed nearly half believe certain US officials 'consciously' allowed the
attacks to happen and 66% want a fresh investigation, but these were
people closest to the tragedy and most familiar with facts refuting the
official account. This revelation that so many millions nationwide now
also recognize a 9/11 cover up and the need for a new inquiry should be a
wake up call for all 2006 political candidates hoping to turn this country
around. We think it also indicates Americans are awakening to the larger
pattern of deceit that led us into Constitutional twilight and endless
war, and that our independent media may have finally come of age."

Poll co-author, W. David Kubiak concurs, saying: "Despite years of
relentless media promotion, whitewash and 9/11 Commission propaganda, the
official 9/11 story still can't even muster 50% popular support. Since
this myth has been the administration's primary source of political and
war-making power, this level of distrust has revolutionary implications
for everyone working for peace, justice and civil liberties. If we ever
hope to reclaim this country, end aggression and restore international
respect, we all must finally scrutinize that day when things started to go
so terribly wrong. The media and movement leaders ignore this call at
their peril, because tens of millions are clearly telling us here they are
ready for 9/11 truth."

SCOPE: The poll covered five related areas: 1) Iraq - do Americans think
the Bush administration exploited 9/11 to attack Iraq? (44% do, 44%
don't); 2) Cover up - did the government and its 9/11 Commission conceal
or refuse to investigate evidence that contradicts their official story?
(only 48% said no); 3) the collapse of WTC 7, which was not even mentioned
by the 9/11 Commission and has seldom been reported in the media---had
respondents been aware of this collapse and, if so, did they think it
should be investigated (only 52% had known about it, but over 70% of this
group believe it should have been investigated); 4) new investigation of
official complicity - do respondents think we need one? (only 48% said
no); and 5) mass media - how do people rate its performance, including its
coverage of alternative 9/11 theories, unanswered questions and inquiry
issues? (43% rate it positively, 55% negatively).

(The poll sponsors see knowledge of the collapse of World Trade Center
Building 7 as a bellwether issue, because if people do not know this
elementary fact, they have probably not been exposed to any independent
9/11 research at all. Because the number of respondents who support a new
investigation of 9/11 (45%)) is roughly the same as the number who knew
about the collapse of Building 7 (52%), it can reasonably be extrapolated
that if the entire public were exposed to independent 9/11 research, about
90 percent would support a new investigation of the events of that fateful
day.)

SPONSOR: 911truth.org is a coalition of researchers, journalists and
victim family members working to expose and answer the hundreds of still
unresolved questions concerning 9/11, especially the nearly 400 questions
that the Family Steering Committee filed with the 9/11 Commission.
Initially welcomed by the commissioners as their "road map," these queries
cut to the heart of 9/11 crimes and accountability, specifically raising
the central issues of motive, means and cui bono (who profited?). The
Commission ultimately ignored 80% of these issues, however, opting only to
explore system failures, miscommunications and incompetence. The victim
families' most incisive questions remain unaddressed to this day.

For more information on the Chicago "9/11: Revealing the Truth, Reclaiming
our Future" conference and other developments, see http://www.911truth.org
and http://911revealingthetruth.org or contact our media coordinator,
Michael Berger, at 314-308-4893.

* Numerical computations conservatively based on 2000 Census data citing
174 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 64.

Survey Methodology: Zogby America, 5/12/06 through 5/16/06

This is a telephone survey of adults nationwide conducted by Zogby
International. The target sample is 1,200 interviews with approximately 81
questions asked. Samples are randomly drawn from telephone cd's of
national listed sample. Zogby International surveys employ sampling
strategies in which selection probabilities are proportional to population
size within area codes and exchanges. As many as six calls are made to
reach a sampled phone number. Cooperation rates are calculated using one
of AAPOR's approved methodologies1 and are comparable to other
professional public-opinionsurveys conducted using similar sampling
strategies.2 Weighting by region, party, age, race, religion, and gender
is used to adjust for non-response. The margin of error is +/- 2.9
percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.

Zogby International's sampling and weighting procedures also have been
validated through its political polling: more than 95% of the firm's polls
have come within 1% of actual election-day outcomes.

###

911TRUTH.ORG
Mike Berger
314-308-4893
E-mail Information Trackback URL:
http://prweb.com/pingpr.php/TWFnbi1UaGlyLUNyYXMtQ3Jhcy1IYWxmLVplcm8

[See item #9 above for an excellent 9/11 DVD show. -ed]


--------16 of 16--------

 Two questions. What would
 Hitler do? What would Bush do?
 Two answers, or one?


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